Follow the Data All the Way to Market
A web site’s design draws on some core idea as its source. The wealth of search data now easily available on the web feeds market information into the digital design process with great ease. Language, culture, trends, ideas all appear before your fingertips and, read with a precise eye, can shape your business’ response to the movements of the market. All the way up to your design.
Search Data and Design
Such was the case with our long-time client Rebecca Wood. Rebecca is widely known for her New Whole Foods Encyclopedia, now in print for 33 years, and the first site we designed for her positioned her recipes and “whole foods wisdom” at the forefront of the user interface. But she had a side passion, Face Reading, a technique that draws on Chinese Medicine to read markings on the face for what they say about internal health. Many of the issues that come up can be addressed through a healthy diet, and so Rebecca saw a fascinating new career that combined the wisdom of East and West.
Recently she asked the question, “Can I confidently “re-brand” myself into a Face Reading and Diet Consultation Expert?” We looked at search data and found solid evidence that she is indeed carving a niche for herself in the face reading category of health and diet concerns. We all became fascinated at the various ideas and language people are using to examine their health. In fact we found that she owns some of the market around that interest.
With confidence in our research, we recommended a design that brings this discipline of face reading to the user in no uncertain terms, no longer a side business would it be. Drawing on our experience in design and advertising, we centered the design concept around bold, black and white portraits that contained an element of disfiguration—nothing grotesque—but a visual cue to visitors that there’s something amiss with these faces. And the gentle color marks presage the actual, in-depth analysis that Rebecca performs on her clients.
Carefully studied language accompanied the images to build upon that first reaction. A large headline asks the viewer to consider what their own face reveals. The rest of Rebecca’s old content (which brings in 30,000 plus visitors a month in organic search) was restructured in support of the new, main thrust: Face Reading. This allows parallel tracks of SEO to take place at once, for Face Reading and Whole Foods Wisdom, while internally both point toward her product offerings around Diet Consultation and Health.
Is the Risk Worth It?
Would the risk of reinventing her site and to a degree herself be worth it? Rebecca was willing to take the leap. We read the data to indicate her confidence was not misplaced. One week into the launch of her newly designed site, Rebecca’s sales have tripled! What felt like an idea on the sideboard of her massive offering of whole foods wisdom has become, through the new design and structure, the main course.
The lesson for us: know the source of your design and marketing process. Openly study data. Read the modern tea leaves. Then bring the power of search data and design, language, and strategy together to make a pointed foray into the market.